Helen Meegasmulla the recently appointed Commissioner of Excise Department of Sri Lanka has urged all those who have been victimized by officers of the Excise Department in the recent past to bring forth their cases to her in person.
When Commissioner Meegasmulla was informed that several victims had contacted Colombo Telegraph after it published the story “Excise Department Scam: Victimized Parents In Fear As Children Used For Ransom” she said: “Please do inform all victims to personally visit me with their cases and I will ensure that each and every one of them are investigated further. I also understand that some parents may be worried that they will be further victimized for coming forward. I would assure them of confidentiality and also protection if needed.”
Meegasmulla further went on to say “It has been brought to my notice that there have been several cases where officers serving under me now have been extorting huge sums of ransom monies from parents of youth whom they have apprehended. I recently visited many branches where these alleged officers are stationed and have given them stern instructions that this type of reported behaviour must be stopped immediately.”
A parent victim contacting Colombo Telegraph after reading our published story confirmed that he was forced to pay Rs one million to officer Chaminda at the Park Lane office in Borella. This was after an initial amount of 15 lakhs was demanded.
“Excise Officer Chaminda on several occasions kept calling his superior Inspector Thilak Dissanayake and was obtaining instructions on the payment of ransom monies. He then went on to say that Inspector Dissanayake had instructed Rs 10 lakhs to be paid as a final sum if not my son will be going to jail” he said.
In an earlier reported incident another parent victim submitted telephone voice recorded conversations to Colombo Telegraph of Inspector Thilak Dissanayake demanding ransom money. The authenticity of his voice in the recordings was confirmed by a reliable source employed within the Excise Department.
Meanwhile shortly after Colombo Telegraph exposed this story, Inspector Thilak Dissanayake deleted his pictures and profile details from his Facebook account. (By Jacqueline Senanayake)